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Old 09-16-2008, 06:33 PM
 
Location: W Hartford, CT
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I saw a movie from the early '80s (no, not Fort Apache) where they filmed some scenes on Charlotte Street which back then looked like Berlin after WWII. From what I saw in pictures and books they cleaned up this street and immediate area since then, but even so I've read it's still a pretty poor area. A few comments I've read here have said it's one of the Bronx's worst. Is this really true? I'm not thinking of moving here or traveling here, but I'm curious as to how it's still in this distressed state (if that's actually the case.) A website I went to described this as a thriving (if poor) area. And it's funny - I live right outside of Hartford and it seems like there's a few areas that fit this description - OK during the day, with small businesses and some good ethnic restaurants, but a no-go zone once the sun goes down. Anyway, is this area really as bad as they say it is?
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
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It's changed a lot in appearance since then. You wouldn't even think it's the same area at all if you look at it today.

By the way, what movie did you see it in? I would love to see any movies that take place then, just to see what it was like then. I've only based it on pictures I've seen from then, and what the area looks like today where I work.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:33 PM
 
Location: W Hartford, CT
2,154 posts, read 4,071,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachael84 View Post
It's changed a lot in appearance since then. You wouldn't even think it's the same area at all if you look at it today.

By the way, what movie did you see it in? I would love to see any movies that take place then, just to see what it was like then. I've only based it on pictures I've seen from then, and what the area looks like today where I work.
The scenes from the neighborhood back then were from a movie called "Wolfen" with Albert Finney. It's a detective thriller where he's investigating these murders, some of which involved derelicts roaming the streets of the South Bronx. I think it was released around 1980 or so. At that time, it was like the smoke from the arson was starting to clear and you could see the destruction left in its wake. As a teenager when I first saw this, it really shaped by view of the city for a while, unbeknownst to be that this really isn't what all of the city is like. I remember thinking, "oh, well this is what New York must look like everywhere." (Of course, I started traveling to Manhattan and the Bronx a few years later and discovered how wrong I was ) Anyway, it's available on DVD but it might not be easy to find.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:02 PM
 
348 posts, read 1,185,085 times
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I think a scene or two can be found on uTube. And LOL - the vision I had of NYC before I came here in the early 90's was based on all those seventies and eighties movies! (Fort Apache The Bronx, anyone?) I was scared to death - even though I had successfully navigated through some of the worst cities in third world countries in South America, Africa and Asia all on my own. I thought I was going to be mugged and murdered once I stepped into Manhattan. It's funny to me now how much I was misinformed and how I let the stereotypes overtake my sense of reality (very much how people nowadays view the Bronx...)
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:11 PM
 
Location: North Bergen,NJ
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I was acctually in the area the other day along with Mott Haven and Hunts point. I cant really go to in depth other than all the areas seem to be alot better than in the past. Hunts point is still run down and nasty looking but the the other areas seem like they are getting cleaned up and changing for the better. So I guess in conclusion Morrisania isnt exactly a nice safe area but its no better no worse than any other lower income area in the NYC /NJ area. Defenitly not what it was like in the 70's and 80's at all. There were acctually some areas that had some apartments for rent that looked decent.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:15 PM
DAS
 
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I am not an expert but I am a former resident I grew up in the area before fires destroyed most of the area. I left before I entered middle school. I still have family and friends in the area. There are older people in the area that have held on to their homes all this time and their descendants.

Yes the area is as bad you may have read that it is, but it is one the bad sections of the city that I feel has the most potential.

The southern end of it from E 161st to E166th going west to east is mostly projects, the western end from 3rd Ave to Webster Ave is also mostly projects. In between from the Eastern side of 3rd Ave over to Southern Blvd, and North to the Cross Bronx Exp the area is mostly apt buildings and some private homes. A person can live in this area and not have to go around or through the projects, if this is a concern for them.

There is the Charlotte St section of private homes and there are blocks with older homes. On these blocks where there are older homes you may see a couple of new homes as well. There are older homes that are not in good shape and the owners would probably be willing to sell and move on, these could be demolished and newer structures could be built. There are also a few newer apt buildings.

In some cities where there were older homes like these, the cities made arrangements to build newer homes for the families near the older homes and then demolished the old ones and built newer structures. I don't know if NYC could do this, but this would be a good thing.

There is still a lot of vacant land, this area hasn't been re-developed. There used to be private homes on this land. The area has 3 subway stops within it, along the 2 and 5 train lines, which would give you a straight shot to the East or West sides of Manhattan, and these are express lines.

This area has the potential to be anything that anyone would want it to be. There is plenty of space and no one has to be displaced. It is a developers dream.

It was a middle class enclave, there were small businesses and the owners lived right in the area, I would like to see it restored to that. There are still some businesses but the area lacks in all services.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:39 PM
DAS
 
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Quote:
I do not know what the future holds for Morrissania as it still has a substantial amount of vacant lot. I suspect the current push for affordable housing will be the primary driver for the area, so expect to see working/middle class residents returning to the area (primarily of color). In general I am not a fan of Morrissania because I find the central parts of the Bronx to be the least desireable overall. Morrissania is not served well by train lines except for the extreme Eastern border (2/5 train), nor is bus service all that great. I don't know what to say about the area, except to say that there is just something inherently wrong with it. I dunno I just don't get a good feeling in Morrissania although I cannot specifically attribute it to one single thing. Maybe there is a giant indian burial ground and that would explain the negative feeling. Nonetheless, that is my 2 cents
.

Several posters have written the same opinions whenever Morrisania comes up. Do you think it is because you have only seen it the way it is now? The way it is now, no one would want to move to the area, I have to admit that. My family saw what it was becoming and sold our home, which was a good thing because a couple of years later it was torched. There is still nothing built on that piece of land, it is vacant. Only several homes still stand on that block and the surrounding blocks. The city used to give out awards for the best block in a borough, and my block won several times. It was a beautiful tree lined block where home owners came out every morning and swept the front of their homes.

It is very depressing walking around there because I can remember all the houses, the summertime block parties, the restaurants, ice-cream shops, businesses that sold flooring products, hardware etc.

We had neighborhood playgrounds and of course Crotona Park.

It is shame that all of that space is going to waste, it is now a place where the poorest of the city are forced to live. I see that the area is starting to be developed but so far only more housing for the lower income people, which is fine. But you need a mixture of income for an area to thrive and for businesses to want to come in. The area is so close to Manhattan. I am hopeful that if more things are developed in Mott Haven, and Melrose that it will spill over to Morrisania. But this maybe part of the problem, the bordering areas that seperate Melrose from Morrisania are project areas that most people that have posted are referring to. I noticed that most posters have never even went past those areas. Not that they would want to. It is nothing to see there now, but desolation for the most part, but with vision and of course money you can see that desolation brings enormous potential.

The transportation issue is a good point. If you live in core of the area you can easily walk to the 2 and 5 trains. This is the same length or shorter of the walk that many people in Brooklyn and Queens take to get to the subway everyday. The transportation would improve if there was a demand for it. There are not that many people there, estimated 30,000 in the entire Morrisania area, which is comprised of 3 zipcodes. Most Manhattan zipcodes have that many people in each zipcode.

I would not recommend any person to move to Morrisania in its present state. Only developers and city planners can really take a look at it.

We all look at gentrification in different ways. In comparison to other areas that have been gentrified like Fort Green, and Harlem, Morrisania can compare. Those areas have large projects, depending on where you live you may have a longer walk to the subway, and they are all close to downtown Manhattan. There is one huge difference the desolation of Morrisania makes this an excellent area to gentrify and do it the correct way with mixed incomes, there would be no reason to displace anyone.
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
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I teach right off the 170th st stop on the 4. I was surprised to find out another teacher lives right there in the neighborhood. So it isn't only poor people. I sometimes see guys dressed really nice in suits also.
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:17 PM
DAS
 
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Hi Rachael: That section off of the #4 train is not Morrisania that section is Highbridge. Highbridge is in a much better shape than Morrisania is in. Highbridge is a mixed income neighborhood. It did suffer through the fires but they have more apt buildings over there, so they were able to rehab them. Now people are moving from Manhattan into that section, they are buying some of those nice big homes that are over there, these homes have good bones and they are being renovated. The area also has some coops.

Morrisania is in no where near the good condition that Highbridge is in. The core of Morrisania had more private homes that suffered through the fires so it is desolate, it was not rebuilt. Only the small Charlotte St section.
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Morrisania, Bronx
731 posts, read 1,935,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachael84 View Post
I teach right off the 170th st stop on the 4. I was surprised to find out another teacher lives right there in the neighborhood. So it isn't only poor people. I sometimes see guys dressed really nice in suits also.
Morrisania is mostly east of Webster. As for transportation, if you live east of 3rd Avenue, you have better subway access. However, if you live between Boston Rd and Webster (especially around 169th St), you must take one of the slow crosstowns or the Bx15/17/21/55 to get to the subway.
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